I’m getting fed-up of the ever-increasing start times too. Computers are getting quicker, they should be loading faster, not slower. If a PDA or phone can be up and running in seconds, why does a desktop or laptop take several minutes? Yes, I realise those devices have set hardware and custom software, but they also have seriously limited processing power compared to a desktop. On my desktop I power it up and go do something else (I can recommend keeping a book by the computer and reading while it boots, surprising how much you get through).
A while back I spent some time slimming down my laptop, removing services I didn’t need, etc and, despite only being a centrino thing, and 4+ years old it boots in well under 30 seconds into XP now. I fail to believe all of the talent in the computer industry can’t build computers and OSs that load at least that fast, if not cut it down to a few seconds.